Difficult Participant Strategies

One of the most challenging things for us to deal with as facilitators is the “difficult” participant and meeting.  Consider adopting these neutral and non-confrontational strategies from Speak Like A CEO:skillful facilitator

    • Create a safe, open environment where people can speak their minds
    • Encourage all participants to speak up, and don’t let anyone dominate
    • Use decision devices such as pros/cons, evaluation sheets, grids to evaluate ideas
    • Set the ground rules for your meetings and enforce them
    • Listen to conflicting views

  • Identify common goals between participants
  • Build on agreements you already have as you try to resolve differences
  • Avoid placing blame and making accusations
  • Depersonalize – it’s not about the person, it’s about the resolution of a problem or challenge
  • Communicate respect to everyone at all times
  • Use a positive tone even if others are going negative
  • If conflict persists, take the issue offline and talk about it after the meeting
  • Zero tolerance for personal attacks – never allow it to happen, stop it when it does

Gain deeper insights, practice applying intervention strategies, and develop greater self-awareness for addressing difficult meeting and group situations.

  • Bring this empowering course in-house: The Skillful Facilitator: Strategies for Managing Meeting Dynamics and Group Dysfunction

Author: myriamlaberge

M.A. (Economics), Certified Professional Facilitator Founder & Managing Director